The Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) has demanded an apology from Prime Minister Imran Khan over leveling allegations against the media and journalists in a public meeting in Malakand on Sunday where he alleged that media houses were receiving funds for campaigning against the PTI government.
While showing astonishment and anger at Prime Minister’s ‘baseless’ remarks, and that too in a public meeting, PFUJ President Shahzada Zulfiqar and Secretary General Nasir Zaidi said that ‘it was remorseful that the head of the government, under whom all the agencies were working, instead of ordering a probe, was using a public forum for spreading unfounded allegations against media.’
They urged Prime Minister to order an inquiry through the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) or through a high-level judicial commission, instead of spreading ‘fake news’ just for electioneering or defusing pressure of the no trust motion filed by the opposition.
Fabricated, concocted, and baseless allegations against media and journalists will not help the country’s Prime Minister. Responsible positions require dissemination of utmost credible information and responsible behavior, they reminded.
They said these are crucial times for the country’s respect and credibility among the comity of nations and such behavior would further ruin the image of the country and ‘we cannot afford this at this juncture of the history.’
Addressing a public meeting in the Dargai area of Malakand, Prime Minister Khan had criticized several media houses for ‘siding with the dacoits’ and blamed them for ‘selling out to foreign powers’.
PM Khan, in his speech, also recounted all the achievements of his government, including record tax collection, exports and remittances, during the past three and a half months.
He alleged that the dacoits were using public money to buy PTI lawmakers but told the opposition that it was going to lose ‘this match.’ He also vowed that he would never opt for horse-trading with public money, as the opposition did. However, he promised that like a father he would forgive the disgruntled PTI lawmakers, who had been ‘deceived’ by opposition parties to vote for no-trust motion against him if they repented and returned to the party fold. At the same time, Mr. Khan warned other dissatisfied PTI leaders, ‘Return to the party fold or face social boycott.’ He urged the turncoats to think of their children and families, saying that they would lose respect and honor in society. ‘People will neither trust nor respect you. Masses are aware of whatever is happening in the country. This is the age of social media where it’s difficult to hide anything from them,” he asserted, adding that Changa Manga-like politics was not possible in the digital age.